Hello from Kansas! Well, I flew out of SFO Sunday at 6am and got to Kansas City around 1pm. The BASS staff were there waiting for all the anglers to arrive and had a chartered bus for us. I loaded my stuff on and promptly went to sleep. I unfortunately had an animal medical emergency the night before and had not slept at all except for a couple broken hours on the plane. At least all my stuff (rods/tackle) made it with me on my flight. For those who didn’t know, my tackle (lures/reels) did not make it on my plane when I came out and prefished before the cut off in October and I had to borrow some stuff for the two days before my tackle made it to me.
We got to the hotel (Courtyard Marriott) in Junction City Kansas around 5pm. We had to wait until 3pm for all the other anglers flying in. The BASS staff checked us in and I went to my room and unpacked my stuff. I then went out and got some dinner and promptly went to bed. They gave us an itinerary for the week. I had to be downstairs this morning by 945am to catch the bus to the boat yard.
This morning I slept in to 9am then went downstairs and got some breakfast. I grabbed my stuff and loaded it onto the bus. They then drove all the anglers out to the launch ramp parking lot where all 55 brand new matching white 225 Skeeter Bass boats with Yamaha engines were hooked up to brand new Toyota trucks! It was very impressive to see.
I got out of the bus to clear skies, 70 degree weather and unfortunately 20-30mph wind. As we got off the bus a BASS staff member asked us our name and then told us our boat number. I am #16. Each boat has the number on the windshield so I walked over to my boat and climbed inside with all my stuff. It was then time to get ready. We had until 130pm. After that you had to leave. You are limited to 10 rods and can have two extra reels in your room and more tackle. If any of your tackle breaks you are out of luck unless a fellow competitor gives you something. You can’t go to the store and replace anything. If all ten rods break then too bad for you. The only thing you can get is line from a sponsor. Everything else has to be from a fellow competitor
Well, I had to put line on all ten rods and reels. 6 baitcasters and 4 spinning rods. By the time I was done it was 130pm and time to get back on the bus. They do not let anyone back into the boatyard until we start tomorrow.
I could look at the lake while I worked on my tackle. It was seriously rough and had 4-5 footers and whitecaps. The forecast calls for the same wind tomorrow on the first and only day of official prefish. Brutal. At least it is not snowing but the forecast calls for rain and a cold front. This fishery is already super tough. I think 18lbs over 3 days will probably win and if you get over 10lbs for 3 days you will be in contention for your division. I am hoping for 2-3 keepers a day. It is a 15 inch size limit.
I got back to the hotel and grabbed some lunch. A quick walk to Wal-Mart next door to buy some hand warmers and I was set. The forecast calls for wind tomorrow, rain on Wednesday, clear and cold Thursday and Friday (forecasted high is 51 for Friday 33 low).
We had the registration at 3pm were we got goodie bags of stuff! I had a little time to go put it back in my room before the briefing and boat orientation at 430pm.
At the briefing all the contenders and all the volunteers (boat/car drivers and observers) were in attendance. Most of the volunteers are Army personnel from Fort Riley. They were given a standing ovation for what they do for us by all the contenders and BASS staff. The rules and off limits were gone over then the contenders got a briefing on the basics of operating the brand new Skeeter bass boats we are going to be using. I made sure I had a good handle of the livewell system.
I just got done with the reception dinner sponsored by the local county (Geary) visitor center. I hope we get to go out tomorrow and get on the lake. We were told if it is to rough/windy again they will cancel the official prefish. Guess I will find out tomorrow.
I still can’t believe I am here. It is unbelievable to be fishing in the Federation Nation Nationals after qualifing through the SCBBBC! I hope to represent the club and California well. That’s all for tonight. I will try and post tomorrow but they fill our days pretty tight and they do not have internet access in the hotel rooms.
Talk to you all soon.